UK Charities Lose 1.65 billion GBP a year due to Cyber Crime

03 Sep 2015

UK Charities Lose 1.65 billion GBP a year due to Cyber Crime

UK based charities are estimated to lose £1.65 billion a year to cybercrime as fraudsters and criminals see the sector as an easy target.

The charity sector is particularly vulnerable to Phishing attempts and Malware due to the number of emails that are typically sent and received to donors. A lack of understanding regarding the cyber threats and poor education of staff also make charities vulnerable to scammers.

Charity organisations need to think about how they can protect themselves, the first and most important thing they can do is to educate their staff at all levels on how to be safe online. Education of the tactics used by cyber criminals and ways on how staff should conduct themselves securely are also vital, after all it only takes one person to let slip an organisation’s security details to the wrong people. Such a slip in security measures can lead to a fraudster stealing a charities money.

How to avoid being scammed

As well as educating staff there are a few methods to limit the chances of falling victim to scammers.

The most common method used by fraudsters is Phishing which sees fraudsters sending emails in the hope of obtaining a charity’s security details or steal someone’s personal information. Files attached to these emails often contain malware that can infect a computer when opened. Always be cautious of attachments and links in emails, especially if they send you to a banking website that asks for passwords and PINs. Real banks would not ask for such details.

Malware found in the links of malicious emails can introduce Trojans which record and send information typed on a keyboard. Passwords and credit/debit card details are the most sought after prizes for a scammer. To avoid this threat, an organisation must ensure that their computers are kept up to date with the latest anti-virus and firewall software.

The best and most effective way of avoiding being scammed is simple. Never give your personal or banking information to anyone you do not know.

Don’t become a target, invest in protection and seek the advice of the professionals such as those at PGI Cyber.

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